Investigation of Blends of alternative fuels

Reliably determination of storage stability

The Rancimatest for determining the storage stability of alternative fuels is to be upgraded for multi-component fuels. Photo: OWI

23 May 2018 – Due to the greenhouse gas reduction and therefore an important role in the climate agreement, liquid fuels become increasingly important. Today fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from used cooking oil (UCOME) can be already added as well as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) can used as a fuel oil substitute. Other biogenic and synthetic fuels (XtL) are developed currently. Fuels consisting of several components have to be long-term stable and resistant to ageing while storage in the fuel oil tank. The quality of fuels has to correspond to the standard of fuels with alternative shares. 

This is determined and valued with established chemical analysis methods, as for example PetroOxy (German Institute for Standardization EN 16091) or Rancimat (German Institute for Standardization EN 15751).

Due to the large number of possible reaction mechanisms as well as interaction in the multi-component blends from FAME/UCOME, XtL and fuel oil, the current characteristic values of the standard analytics did not characterize the stability of the fuels sufficiently and guarantee a safety operation in the application technology. The lack of understanding of the appearing chemical reactions makes a clear assessment of the fuels and their blends difficult concerning the chemical and physical storage stability with norm parameters.

In a current research project the Oel Waerme Institut and the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung want to utilise the standard analytics also for the assessment of the long time stability behaviour of multi-component fuels. In addition the ageing mechanisms and up to now unknown chemical and physical phenomena during the storage should be examined exemplarily in fuels consisting of FAME, HVO and heating oil in detail.

In addition, the complex mixtures of fuels (heating oil / FAME / UCOME / XtL) and ageing products under different storage conditions are characterized at molecular level by the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry. Thereby, the understanding of the chemical ageing reactions and of physical effects as well as the interaction of different fuels in the multi-component blend can be improved. Due to the results, the standard analytic shall be modified in order to a standard compliant determination of storage stability. Advanced analysis methods can also be helpful for the development of products by the biofuel and mineral oil industry.

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